Before you create your own website, the most important decision is to use a reliable web hosting service provider because they can make or break your online business. The aim of a web hosting service is to provide a physical space to store your website and support the functionalities such as email accounts, software and ensure that the server is up and running always.

Since there are thousands of web hosting companies to choose from, asking the right questions will help you select the most suitable ones for your needs. Here are 5 questions to ask:

Question 1:  Does it come with free domain registration?

Most web hosting companies provide free available URL name. If you are on a shoestring budget, it saves you about US$12 a year. If you are technically challenged, it saves you the hassle of registring a domain name from another vendor and having to manually configure the nameserver. But if you are technically savy, it is better to have your domain registered in another company. The reason is simple. If you don’t like the web hosting, you can switch to another company without losing your domain name.

Question 2:  How many websites can I host with this hosting package?

Web hosting companies provide a variety of packages with different price plans and features. If you intend to build more than one website, it is cheaper to get a hosting package that allows you to host more than one website on your account.

Question 3:  What is the percentage of guaranteed uptime?
When the server is down, your readers will not be able to access your website. So it is very important to have a guaranteed uptime of more than 99.8%.

Question 4:  What  is the level of service support?

Some budget web hosting services do not provide technical support after office hours. The better ones provide 24 hours support and through multiple channels such as email, phone, a knowledge base and a forum.

Question 5:  Is there a money-back guarantee?

It is an industry standard for a web hosting company to provide a 30-day money back guarantee. This is important as you do not want to find yourself locked into a one year contract if you find that their technical support is poor or their server is always down.

Before you sign up for aweb hosting package, go through the 5 questions and it will save you a lot of unnecessary headaches.

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If you intent to sell your service and products on the Internet, your first stop is to look for a web hosting company to support your ecommerce transactions and to host your website.

The types of web hosting services you are looking for depends on the requirements of your website. If you are just starting a small business and you foresee the growth to be slow, get a no frill cheap hosting package. And as your business growth, you can upgrade to a bigger hosting plan.  Make sure that your web hosting company has a range of packages that you can select as you upgrade.

Choosing the best hosting services company is critical to your business. In the worst scenario, the server is always down and your clients cannot access your website. That will cause you to lose your business. When you need support, the hotline and technical assistance is not available. When you want certain software, they do not provide it. The bandwidth and diskspace may not be sufficent for your website.

You will want to select a company that provides 24-hour technical support. Check their website and see if they provide FAQ and knowledge base here. Do they provide phone support and email support?

Do your research and searching for the name of the company in forums and search engines such as google.com. What do customers say about them? Do they receive a lot of complaints from their customers?

Examine the kinds of features they provide. Do they have the software that you need, for example, a Cpanel, statistical software, forum software, and script blog software like wordpress. Are you able to create as many email accounts as you need?

Do your due diligence in selecting the best web hosting service otherwise a wrong choice could cause you to suffer losses in your online business.  Also, make sure you don’t try to self-host your site at home.  Big mistake.  This site tells you why.

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